De facto Relationships including same-sex couples
Family & Defacto Law services
Different Sexes or the Same Sex
A couple living together in a close personal relationship may be considered by the court to be in a de facto relationship. The court may consider the following factors in determining whether a genuine de facto relationship exists:
The duration of the relationship
Whether there was a sexual relationship
The degree of financial dependence between the parties
The ownership and use of property
The care and support of any children
The nature of the common residence.
A party to a de facto relationship that has ended, may apply to the court for property or maintenance orders in the following circumstances:
The de facto relationship was of at least two years duration in total
There is a child of the de facto relationship
One party made substantial contributions to the relationship and failure to make an order for property adjustment would result in serious injustice to the other party.
De facto Relationships and Agreements
De facto couples are now permitted to enter into binding pre-nuptial agreements and binding cohabitation agreements. Generally, there are three types of financial agreements that parties to a de facto relationship can enter into. They are:
A cohabitation agreement can be made prior to entering, or during a relationship. A cohabitation agreement covers matters such as who is responsible for expenses and debts, and how property is to be divided if the relationships ceases.
A separation agreement is entered into on the breakdown of a relationship or when it ends.